The Vertical City Threshold

Jordan Scott
Senior Engineer - Structures
Arcadis, Sydney

As the French city of Toulouse embraces tall buildings, an opportunity arises for its premier tower to set the tone for future developments. A high standard of environmental and aesthetic unity, densification and mobility-oriented design is not only achievable, but critical for defining expectations and responsibilities of the tall building projects that will surely follow. The goal of the Occitanie Tower project is to become a strong symbol and icon for Toulouse.

The bold, twisting band of greenery creates a vertical garden that preaches a message of environmental harmony. This message is supported by the integrated design of an energy loop system and high BREEAM level certification. The suspended, gravity-fed forest offers a temperate atmosphere and a reduction in energy needs as the project pushes towards carbon- and energy- neutrality.

Great energy efficiency is achieved by splitting the tower usage between commercial and residential, whilst the development responds to multiple city needs. Densification due to increasing urbanization is natural in the evolution of a city at the threshold.

The project is located at a gateway to Toulouse, directly adjacent to a main multi-modal station. The spatial constraints and presence of rail vibration complicate the architectural and structural solutions, calling for innovation and technical expertise.

Occitanie Tower fulfills its objectives to innovate and set an example for future approaches in Toulouse, a city on the cusp of vertical expansion.